71. Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa1
Washington, March 1972.
[Omitted here is a title page.]
South Africa: Policy Planning Paper
A. U.S. Interests in South Africa
- We would hope to see a resolution of racial tensions in South
Africa which will minimize for the United States the harmful
domestic and international repercussions of the current South
African situation and will be consistent with our national
principles regarding human dignity and equality. The present
situation in South Africa:
- Hampers stability in southern Africa;
- Provides the communist states opportunities to increase their influence in Africa;
- Inhibits the development of normal relations with South Africa; and
- Causes dissension within the United States.
- We must avoid being drawn into internal or external racial conflicts involving South Africa.
- We are interested in South Africa as an important source of essential minerals—especially chrome, copper, platinum, gold, manganese and vanadium.
- Our trade with South Africa amounts to about $851 million annually with a heavy favorable U.S. balance ($275 million) and the potential for expansion of U.S. exports.
- Direct private U.S. investment in South Africa was $864 million at the end of 1970, and considerable potential exists for further profitable investment. Approximately 320 U.S. firms have investment in South Africa.
- We believe strategic considerations, while not crucial, are important in terms of: denying the area to potential enemies; the availability of landing and overflight rights for U.S. military aircraft; and access to ship repair and logistic facilities.
- Our NASA tracking station is significant to the space program, and its importance will increase with greater deep space probe activity.
- The South African atomic energy program, particularly their “new secret process for enriching uranium” may have important political (proliferation) and economic implications for the United States.
B. U.S. Objectives Over the Next Five Years
- The maintenance of peace in southern Africa.
- Realization by South Africa that its racial policies are untenable internationally and that peaceful, evolutionary movement toward equal rights for all South Africans will reduce the risk of violence.
- Support for African initiatives leading toward more stable South African/black African relations, based on full respect and equality.
- Avoidance of U.S. identification with or the appearance of acquiescence in South African racial policies.
- Furtherance of the concept that whites and nonwhites can live together peacefully and productively in multiracial or nonracial societies.
- Peaceful resolution of South West African issues consistent with self-determination, taking into account the ICJ opinion and African and UN concern with the problem.
- Avoidance of the development of South Africa, Rhodesia and the Portuguese territories into a bloc.
- Continued profitable trade with South Africa and maintenance of U.S. investments and access to key resources.
- Equal employment practices by U.S. firms in South Africa.
- Continuing contacts with all elements of the South African population.
- Support for the United Nations as a political institution which has a constructive role in the resolution of African problems.
- Continued access to South African military intelligence and continued minimal level of cooperation with the South African military consistent with U.S. national security requirements.
- Retention of the NASA and Air Force Tracking Stations.
- Retention of overflight and landing rights currently deriving from the Air Force Tracking Station agreement.
- Avoidance of military involvement over South West Africa with South Africa or the Portuguese territories or with the liberation groups.
C. South Africa’s Objectives Vis-à-Vis the United States
- Closer economic, political, and military relations with the United States and the West, for practical strategic reasons and in order to enhance South Africa’s international image and acceptability.
- U.S. acceptance of the view that South Africa’s racial problem is an internal matter for South Africa to deal with.
- U.S. acquiescence in the South African position regarding South West Africa.
- U.S. acceptance of South African views of its strategic significance.
- U.S. support for South Africa’s policy of improving trade and relations with black Africa.
D. Recommended Courses of Action
- Continue to make U.S. position clear, both in public statements and in bilateral talks and démarches with SAG, that we condemn apartheid as unjust and ultimately unworkable.
- Make it clear that we do not support or endorse violence as a means of effecting change.
- Encourage, through wider communication, evolution of white racial
attitudes away from apartheid:
- Increase U.S. educational and exchange programs for South Africans of all races.
- Continue to press the South Africans on visas for American visitors, particularly officials and Members of Congress.
- Assign black American personnel to South Africa as soon as practicable and as appropriate to the varying needs of the U.S. Government.
- Through discreet use of informational techniques and cultural presentations, provide South Africans of all races maximum exposure to the thought, life-style and social-consciousness of the West and the United States in particular.
- While avoiding use of the term “dialogue” or endorsement of any particular approach, and while discouraging any hopes for early results, point out to black African states that increased communication has value as an additional type of exposure and pressure on South Africa.
- Avoid endorsement of South Africa’s “outward policy.”
- Continue to oppose moves to oust South Africa from international organizations when such moves are in violation of the organization’s constitution, emphasizing that our opposition is a matter of principle and is not specifically on behalf of the South African Government.
- Continue cooperation with American religious, legal and other private groups offering humanitarian and professional assistance to South Africans and South West Africans prosecuted under restrictive, discriminatory legislation.
- Continue humanitarian and educational assistance to South African and South West African refugees.
- Continue the arms embargo against South Africa.
- Keep contacts with the South African Defense Force to the minimum required for continued access to South African military intelligence and minimal military cooperation consistent with U.S. national security requirements.
- Keep to an absolute minimum our association with the South African Police, consistent with continued access to intelligence information.
- Retain the NASA tracking station in South Africa as long as it does not represent an unacceptable political liability.
- Keep under review the continued requirement for Air Force Tracking Station 13.
- Keep under review our present policy of non-use of South African ports by U.S. Naval vessels except in case of emergency.
- Continue our policy of neither encouraging nor discouraging new U.S. investment in South Africa, but make sure interested companies are fully aware of the political, social and economic problems associated with South Africa’s racial policies and of the public relations problems resulting from investment in South Africa. Invite potential U.S. investors’ attention to the advantages of investment in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland which are in the Rand customs and currency area.
- Suggest to U.S. firms in South Africa that public relations and other advantages might accrue from supporting developmental projects in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, such as the UBLS.
- Encourage U.S. firms to follow fair employment practices in employment of non-whites, particularly with regard to pay, training and fringe benefits.
- Continue to seek ways of assisting development of effective representation of non-white labor.
- Provide low profile facilitative services to U.S. exporters, reporting trade opportunities in a factual, routine way.
- While continuing present Eximbank policy with respect to South Africa, remain alert to possible needs for liberalizing the policy to enable U.S. exporters to meet terms offered by third-country competitors. Eximbank policy currently permits insurance and guarantee coverage for all commodities; it limits the term ordinarily to five years, but extends it to not more than ten years for individual commodities if the proposed term has been internationally defined as normal for those commodities or if it is necessary to meet government-supported competition. Present policy permits discount loans of less than $2 million, [Page 177] with certain restrictions. Direct loans and all other Eximbank facilities are unavailable.
- Discreetly explore the South African plebiscite proposal and other possible arrangements to resolve the question of the status of South West Africa.
- Continue to seek ways of aiding development of economic and political independence in Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland and encourage the SAG, as appropriate, to permit this development.
- While avoiding expressions of approval or support for the policy of separate development, challenge the SAG to demonstrate the sincerity of its policy by accelerating physical, social and economic development of the homelands.
- If the homelands are found to offer the Africans some positive chances for constructive advancement, consider whether the USG could encourage private U.S. investment in these areas without incurring unacceptable political cost.
- Urge the South African Government to improve the lot of non-white South Africans in such practical areas as family stability, property ownership, rural development, education and training, and greater political and economic rights.
- Monitor closely the South Africa atomic energy program.
[Attached but not printed are Annex A, a chart of U.S. Government personnel in South Africa, and Annex B, a general background on South Africa.]
- Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 25, Scowcroft Chronological File (B), Scowcroft Chronological 1/16/76 (3). Secret; Noforn. The paper is an attachment to a copy of NSSM 236, Document 82.↩